(Read Albuquerque: Part 1 here!)
I’m sure you are wondering about vegan and vegetarian options in Albuquerque so let’s get to it! Since I was traveling for business, food options were definitely more limited than if I was traveling for pleasure. We were on a tight conference schedule so everything had to be within walking distance of our hotel. Here are my key survival tips:
1. Know before you go
Since I knew we would be on foot, I made sure to research places closeby our hotel before we went. This helped me to know what to expect and I was ready with a few options in mind.
Bring your own… breakfast! Finding a healthy, vegan breakfast is one of the hardest challenges when I travel. And sure enough, the continental breakfast at the hotel was filled with pastries and coffee. My survival strategy is to pack oats, chia seeds, and a carton of almond milk. It’s super easy to make overnight oats the night before and wake up to a ready-made breakfast! I also like to pack a few goodies like nuts, dried fruit, and cinnamon so that I don’t feel bored with the oats by the end of the week.
And, I would also recommend packing a few snack bars (Larabars are my personal fave) or nuts so that you have a few options if you get hungry in-between meal times. If you do plan to prepare breakfast or another meal in your hotel room, come prepared with a bowl, silverware, and a small sponge and dish soap.
3. Give local places a try
We ate at a few nearby restaurants and it was pretty easy to find things to eat, but I did have to (politely!) specify my dietary restrictions. Servers were very nice about modifying items without cheese and answering questions about ingredients. I would definitely recommend clarifying if beans were made with meat stock (because a lot of them were!) and if in doubt, stick to the veggie fajitas. Oh, and stay away from the fried chip basket. Just sayin.
4. Find a grocery store
One of my favorite traveling tricks is to find a nearby grocery store and make food in my hotel room. I was very lucky that La Montanita Co-Op was about a mile from the hotel because they had a great selection of fresh produce, a smoothie and juice bar, and a deli full of vegan options! I had the quinoa salad from their deli a few times and also opted to make a kale salad in the hotel room. As I mentioned above, if you are planning to make food in your room, just be sure to pack any utensils or kitchen items that you might need.
5. Make an ice bath
If your hotel room does not have a fridge, don’t let that stop you from saving leftovers or making food in your room. I simply make an ice bath in the sink and change out the ice when it gets low. This allows me to store leftovers or produce items that I wouldn’t want sitting out otherwise. As long as you are practicing safe food handling and the food is submerged in the ice it will be safe to eat. (However, if you don’t replace the ice in time and/or the food is questionable to eat, then definitely throw it out.)